Urgent action is needed from state and federal governments to create a single, transparent trading platform in the southern Basin.
Media reports today again highlight the serious concerns of irrigators who are going broke because they can’t compete with speculators and investors who are sending water prices skyrocketing.
A transparent trading platform would prevent anti-competitive conduct and distortion of the water market.
Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville has said there’s “no real evidence” that competition from speculators and traders is pushing up water prices, but in 2017/18 21 per cent of Victorian allocation was purchased by accounts not linked to land or irrigation, compared with five per cent in 2014/15.
With temporary water prices reaching $800 a megalitre, up from about $135, urgent change is needed.
The Andrews Labor Government must take greater action to place stronger obligations on water traders to ensure transactions are conducted fairly and with transparency.
Our communities are hurting. Enough is enough. Spring St and Canberra need to start listening to our irrigators before it’s too late.